Tuesday, August 30, 2011

So it is Written, So it is Done

I have almost hit the panic button. I feel like my hand is hovering over it wanting to slam down. May and June of 2011 were the best ever for my affiliate websites. After a horrendous February, March really started to take off traffic wise and is probably one of my best month traffic wise.

Chart with the arrow crashing into groundDuring March and April I felt I was getting great traffic but my earnings weren't as high as they should be. I then implemented two ads per page instead of the usual only one. This made May and June explode in earnings. But the second half of June was starting to lose it's amount of traffic. This lead to a twenty percent drop in traffic over July, and when I had hoped that my traffic bottomed out.

Unfortunately this isn't the case and August's traffic is down roughly four to five percent from July. August's first week was great, but after that it dropped dramatically. Bing and Yahoo are down by 25 visitors a day which is more than ten percent from them. Google has been great since July and has carried August.

One trouble spot is my rankings are still down and appear to continue to lower. I really need to rank higher for Victoria Secret credit card, and it would be great if Sears credit card did a little better in the search engine results as well. I feel kind of cheap linking to my other website this way as sort of a cash grab at creating links, but as long as my websites aren't penalized for this kind of linking, and I'm not stuffing every post with links I should be okay.

I know linking in this fashion is kind of a grey area for search engine optimization, but I have seen other websites do things much more sinister, and I don't feel bad for acting this way.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Traffic Bottomed Out

My traffic seems to have peaked in May and has been on a slow decline since that point. It really took a dive in the beginning of July, but I was able to boost some of my keywords, and I'm hoping I've bottomed out traffic wise.

I've been writing reviews pretty consistently lately. I completed one on the Shell Drive for Five card, I hope people find it worthwhile, actually read what I have to say, and think about what they want before they sign-up for any credit card.

I've also been doing a lot of research and reading on how I can effectively expand my websites reach. I've come up with a few ideas that I hope will help. The most important change that needs to be made is an upgrade from a late 90s website design to a more Web 2.0 kind of design. I hope this will help the visitors and give my site a little more respect and authority.

What Web 2.0 brings to the table

I imagine giving my credit card website the capability for visitors to add their own ratings and reviews of credit cards and the ability to compare credit card offers with the click of a button. I envision  people being able to share their reviews via Facebook and Twitter. Later on if these changes are successful I intend to add a fully functional forums.
Drupal logo
I've been busy reading up on content management systems, and I am trying to decide between using Drupal or Joomla software to upgrade my website. Both have an excellent and helpful community of developers and I'm not sure yet which one I will go with.

Joomla logo

My rankings are still low for Bing and Yahoo, but thankfully Google has really been good to me lately and has carried me while I'm working on upping my other rankings.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bing Plus Facebook Equals ?

In the middle of May 2011 Microsoft announced that Bing will start using Facebook Likes to help determine their search results. The week after this announcement I noticed my traffic from both Bing and Yahoo dropped by ten percent. My Google traffic remains pretty stable.

I checked my rankings on Bing and it appears my site has retained its ranking, but I've lost a significant amount of traffic from this change. I think part of the problem is when you log into Bing or Facebook and use their search they displayed more ads at the top of the page and this pushes the natural results down lower than they previously were before I signed in.

I also noticed when you use the Facebook search it uses Bing's results, but it only shows the top three with an option to see more. If you want to see more you will leave Facebook's site and go to Bing's.

This is very disappointing for me, and I think will be for many other small website owners who receive traffic from these sources. Before this change I earned a record amount of money from my website in May. Now with the less traffic I am getting I will be lucky if my June earnings equals Mays.

I think my best way to continue to grow my traffic is to focus on adding more and more content and reviews each month.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Monthly Updates

It's been very difficult for me to maintain and add new reviews to my credit card website every month. I'm not sure what the root of the problem is; I feel if I could just figure out why I'm so lazy I could correct my behavior and continue to grow my site traffic and make more money.

The funny thing is it seems like the more money I make each month the more I like to kick back, relax, and watch it roll in instead of working harder I don't work as much. What really gets me going is if I have a terrible month or week or even a bad day can sometimes motivate me get on the computer and do some work without checking how much I've made that day.

I was trying to write three reviews a month for 2011, but that hasn't really worked out yet. I do like my take on the Target Red card. I hope people read my articles and understand the risk of carrying a balance every cycle.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Best December Yet

Wow, I was blown away with how much money I made this past December 2010 with my credit card website. I had some pretty good keyword rankings through out the month and it was lead by a resurgence of American Express rewards and other older keywords that I haven't ranked for in a while suddenly shot back up into the top ten of Google results.

This bolstered my traffic and helped me to reach a new high for daily page views and visitors. Couple this with the increase in money that advertisers where spending for the holiday season it gave me my best December yet!

The first half of the month my site was literally on fire compared to previous years. Actually after Thanksgiving I noticed a huge increase by people searching for gift cards and credit cards. Unfortunately the second half of December things really cooled off, but I was still making decent numbers in traffic and profit, but it was no where near the peak.

Before this year I hadn't paid that much attention to increases/decreases provided by Google Trends, but now I have a better understanding of when people search for items and when there is going to be lower traffic for different niches.